TRACIE HOTCHNER: LOOKING FOR A FEW CHUBBY DOGS

newtraciepicIs your dog getting pudgy around the middle? Has she lost her girlish puppy figure? Did your boy once have a svelte outline when he was two years old, but now you can grab a big handful of “extra dog” behind his collar and over his shoulders? We have become a nation of overweight people and obese children – so it’s only logical our dogs are suffering the same fate- and all the medical problems that follow from it. We’ve got a solution for the dogs, at least!

Halo’s own expert vet Dr. Donna Spector is my co-host on THE EXPERT VET on the Radio Pet Lady Network and we have been having a great time on our show and website helping people whose dogs have packed on a few too many pounds to shed the weight using the Halo Healthy Weight kibble.

Once we discover a canine candidate, he needs to live with a human who is highly motivated to put the dog on a strict calorie-controlled diet devised by Dr. Donna. She calculates what the dog weighed at age two (a good benchmark for a healthy weight for most dogs) and then creates a diet that will burn body fat, yet keep the dog from feeling too hungry. Halo has graciously allowed us to offer three months worth of canned Spot’s Stew and their Healthy Weight Grain-Free dry food to those dogs. It’s plain for everyone to see for themselves that a super premium food like Halo’s can also be used a “diet food. When it’s in the right hands.

Dr. Donna and I have just completed another successful weight loss experience with Faith, a beautiful California pooch who lives with her fellow Siberian Huskies. Faith had gotten quite chubby over (what seemed to her Mom a short period of time) and simply cutting back on Faith’s food portions was not making a dent in those added pounds. Her mom was dismayed because she knew the negative health consequences of a dog being overweight, but she was making no headway trying to put Faith on a diet. Enter Superwoman, Dr. Donna to the rescue!

Dr. Donna put together a carefully planned diet for Faith (as she had done for Teddy and Fritz previously) and Faith’s Mom agreed to take her to the vet’s office for weekly weigh-ins, and to stick to the low-calorie vegetable snacks and other instructions from Dr. Donna that go along with Halo Healthy Weight food. Faith not only lost weight the slow-and-steady way that is healthy and can establish a new normal weight for Faith- but she is more playful and generally happier. And Faith is going to stay on the Halo food to maintain that hard-won weight loss!

Now we are on the lookout again for another lucky candidate for the Halo Healthy Weight Challenge on our show. Do you have a dog you’ve come to think of as chubby? Do him a favor! Send us a note to RadioPetLady@gmail.com and tell us your dog’s age, type, weight now, and weight at age two (an optimal target weight). If we choose your dog we’ll be following you on THE EXPERT VET and giving you the Halo Healthy Weight food and Spot’s Stew in a can to turn your dog’s life around.

We are so grateful that Halo Purely for Pets shares our concern not just about the highest quality ingredients in a dog’s diet, but also that so many dogs are getting “too much of a good thing” and getting fat. With our weight loss challenge we hope to raise awareness that giving your dog even a few tablespoons of food more than what he really needs can wind up packing on the pounds over time and creating an avoidable problem. Please write us at RadioPetLady@gmail.com.

Tracie Hotchner is the author of THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is also a renowned pet radio host and producer, having spent 7 years on the Martha Stewart Channel of Sirius/XM with CAT CHAT® and even longer with her award-winning NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) that continues to broadcast in the Hamptons and the Berkshires. Her most recent accomplishment is the pet talk radio network she has created on the Internet called The Radio Pet Lady Network.

Halo

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The midwife at the end of life

Like many of you, I’ve been mesmerized by the bravery of Brittany Maynard, a 29 year old woman who is dying of Stage IV brain cancer. After hearing the course of the disease progression from her doctors and considering what the end of her days were likely to be like, she made the incredibly difficult decision to move to Oregon, one of a handful of states in which assisted suicide is legal, and choose the day and manner in which she will die.

brittany

 

While her story is compelling and awful, it is not so surprising a concept. For veterinarians, taking part in these sorts of heavy decisions is an everyday occurrence, and to the Maynard family I say: I am so glad you have the ability to make that choice.

As I travel to Indianapolis for the annual meeting of the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (the mouthful acronym of IAAHPC), I find myself struck by the two most common things clients say to me when I come to their home to euthanize a sick pet:

  1. This must be so hard.
  2. I wish we had this for people.

Though we all wish for ourselves, and our pets, to die peacefully and unaware in our sleep, the truth is, that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes death is peaceful, but sometimes it is horrible and painful and agonizing and drawn-out. To say that is a fate worse than death is not a metaphor in this case. Death can be a relief. We don’t always get to choose the way in which we die, but when we know it is coming and it is going to be unpleasant, I am very grateful this is an option we have for our pets, and for some people.

I suppose in many ways veterinarians are leading the charge in normalizing people’s attitudes about this possibility, right in there with hospice workers and other professionals who deal with these realities. None of us probably gave that much thought when we signed the dotted line on vet school admission forms, but it’s there nonetheless.

There is a small but important distinction I wish more people made when talking about Brittany’s situation: they say, “She is choosing to die.”

This is not true. She wants very much to live. She has no choice in the matter. She is dying.

The accurate statement is, “She is choosing how to die,” and that is a vital distinction. I’ve seen differing views on this, people who genuinely believe that there is beauty in every moment of life, even in suffering an agonizing death with a ravaged body, and to that I simply say: I respect your view on it and your right to choose that end. I also respect those who choose as Brittany is doing, and I find beauty in that as well.

There are limits, of course. I do not show up at people’s homes and simply provide euthanasia on demand for pets who do not have a terminal disease. For my own emotional well-being I have very specific requirements and lines I do not cross. There are situations (such as a dangerously aggressive pet) where the lines about what is ethically acceptable are fuzzy, but my personal limits are not. I feel very proud and honored to be able to do what I do.

This is how I continue to do this every day: by reminding myself and the grieving owners that we are not killing a pet; the disease is killing him or her. We are simply aiding the process and making it more comfortable. I wish for the Maynards the same I do for my patients: comfort, peace, as much as can be gathered in a stressful situation.

I am the midwife at the end of life.

And I am OK with that.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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Dogs Get Massages For The First Time

Doggy bliss. Featuring: Pam Holt http://www.buddhadog.com/pamholtrvtcamt.htm For more information on how to become an animal massage therapist: …
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Well said, Winnie.

Well said, Winnie.
BAD RAP Blog

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PocketSuite for Pet Sitters

A new way to for pet sitters to communicate with pet owners is PocketSuite.  It will soon be available in the listings of PetsitUSA members.  The official description for the new app is below:

PocketSuite is the first mobile business management tool for pet sitters, walkers and trainers. PocketSuite gives today’s on-the-go professionals the power to schedule appointments, communicate with clients and accept payment, all from a single app. PocketSuite is the fastest, most convenient and most affordable way for pet professionals to run their business.


PetsitUSA Blog

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Rangers By The Numbers Game Preview: Rangers vs. Oilers

Rangers By The Numbers Game Preview: Rangers vs. Oilers
At evens or on the PP or on the PK, if you get the Oilers puck watching in their own zone, as young players often do at this level, they will play mite hockey. Bad mini-mite hockey. They rarely responsibly space themselves and, as a result of what I
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Photo gallery: Pets of the Week — Nov. 14, 2014
… good with other cats and kids. Raining Cats N Dogs adoptions include spay/neuter services, FVRCP and rabies vaccines, FIV/FELV testing, physical exam, and ear mite, deworming and flea treatments as needed. Call 232-6299 to schedule an appointment.
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St. Paul & the Broken Bones tease 'em, please 'em during sold-out concert at
They're just skipping through the steps a mite quicker than usual, touring the country and traveling overseas. This week, the band can claim a significant career milestone on its home turf, playing two sold-out shows at the Alabama Theatre. That's 5
Read more on The Birmingham News – al.com

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Rumble in the Doghouse: Evil Breeders vs Crazy Animal Rights People

There was a time, back in a pre-internet era known as the Good Old Days, when two people who had different opinions on a topic could talk about it and, even if they did not come to an understanding, could at least part ways with a better grasp of the other person’s point of view. People with different opinions were still, at the end of the day, people.

I’m not entirely sure that is the case anymore.

Lest anyone doubt me, proof enough should be the fact that we’ve just come off an election cycle. I live in an area with one of the most hotly contested Congressional races in the country, better known to us locals subjected to the campaign ads as “Mouthbreathing Carbuncle-Having Satan Worshipping Slimeball” versus “Luciferous Mucusbucket Festering Wound.” (Definitions supplied by opposing parties.)

Politicians Before and After Elections(1)

It was a close race. I think most of us voted for one or the other not based on deep unabiding adoration so much as we held our noses and selected the one we found less odiferous. Nonetheless, after the Slimeball defeated the Festering Wound by the narrowest of margins, the loser went on the air and graciously wished his opponent “all the best”, which is a strange thing to wish someone you truly thought was the Antichrist. If you truly thought he was the path to death and destruction, you think one would continue to rage against the injustice of it all and exhort people to do something to undo this miscarriage of justice.

But politicians know the truth that a lot us seem to have forgotten. All that bluster is just that, bluster. And at the end of the day they actually have a lot more in common than not:

  • both middle aged men of the same demographic savvy enough to be successful in local politics
  • Neither advocates overthrowing Congress and disbanding the Constitution
  • both against selling tanks to minors
  • Both for free sunlight
  • Both generally want to work for the constituents in order for people to live well in our beautiful city, though their ideas of how to get there might vary.

And now they will retreat to their corners to do whatever it is they do until they are again required by the tenor of American culture to again start yelling about how much the other person stinks.

Rumble In the Doghouse

We all know this about politics, we all roll our eyes with the silliness of it all, but don’t be mistaken- this “live and die by the sword”, “you’re with us or you’re worthy of a messy death” attitude has permeated many corners of our lives, and it’s not pretty.

The first time I met someone at a breeder’s event, I started talking to a person very involved with the dog fancy world. When she learned what I did, she looked at me a little sideways and said, “So you’re an animal rights person.”

Peta, protesting that abhorrent group of animal haters known as the American Veterinary Medical Association (true story)

PETA, protesting that abhorrent group of animal haters known as the American Veterinary Medical Association (true story).

“Not animal rights. Animal welfare,” I corrected her, as the person who introduced us (you know who you are, you rotten troublemaker) rubbed his palms together and waited in glee for us to start ripping each others’ hair out.

“What’s the difference?” she asked. So I called her a puppy mill, because all breeders are the same, right?

Best-In-Show-Best-In-Show-001

We looked at each other, hesitated a moment, then burst into laughter as she said, “Point taken.” We’ve been friends ever since.

I suppose in another world, maybe hidden behind an anonymous screen and keyboard, we could have become mortal enemies, but we’d spent too much time face to face to be able to call the other person demon spawn. We both knew we had too much in common, including:

  • a love of good wine
  • writing long and probably way too involved stories
  • thinking dogs are the absolute bee’s knees. We both totally adore and spend most of our free time thinking about, canines.

This friend recently began a Kickstarter campaign to create a website commemorating National Purebred Dog Day. Now, I’m not trying to convince anyone to go and support the campaign if it’s not your thing, no more than I would try and convince someone to donate to a political candidate they did not agree with. But the simple fact that she waited a long time to even begin the campaign because she was nervous about people targeting her for being an Evil Dog Person is honestly, pretty sad. I feel the same way about that as I do people who target pittie advocates trying to end BSL: why would you do that? We are not each other’s enemies here.

Who’s right?

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece for Vetstreet about purebreds versus mutts. I wonder if perhaps the editor was wanting me to go for the easy kill, the one that would bring 5000 shares and bloodshed in the comments section: quote people talking about how wrong the other side was, how misguided. But I didn’t want to do that.

Instead, I talked to someone from the American Kennel Club and the ASPCA, and guess what? They said the exact same thing:

We want people to find the right dog for their family so they keep them forever.

They had different ideas about the best way to do that, but they’re both perfectly valid approaches, really, and people have been using both successfully for some time. Let me repeat: at the end of the day we all want the same thing. The rest is just window dressing.

Can you tell which dog is more worthy, loved, or better for my family? I can't.

Can you tell which dog is more worthy, loved, or better for my family? I can’t.

Who’s the real enemy here? Apathy. Ignorance. Greed. Say what you want about either the dog fancy or the rescue community (and indeed, the large numbers who belong to both): they are not apathetic people. They care, and they want what’s best. Instead of shaking your fingers at the other side’s perceived shortcomings, listen. There is much to be learned, on both sides. I know this from experience.

judging

It’s very easy to continue to point and shoot at the easy target. Keep on doing it if it makes you happy. It certainly makes life easier for the people at CheapPuppyMillDog.com; whenever someone gets turned off by the antics they encounter at either end of the spectrum, guess who’s waiting with open arms?

We are not each other’s enemy. If you want someone to hate on who really deserves it, I suggest these idiots. Seriously, no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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CHEETAH CUB AND LAB PUPPY ARE BEST FRIENDS

AstridKreidl2Misi, a 4-month-old cheetah, and Cash, a 3-month-old yellow lab, were best friends from the start.

This adorable duo is being raised at the Columbus Zoo in Columbus, Ohio as part of the zoo’s commitment to cheetah conservation.

With only 10,000 cheetahs left in the world, the species is in “deep, deep trouble,” says Suzi Rapp, vice president of animal programs at the zoo.

Rapp and her team discovered some years ago that their resident cheetahs benefitted from having canine companions. Because cheetahs are naturally shy and skittish, pairing them with dogs increased their confidence and well-being.

Click here to read the complete story.

Halo

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03 Tick Tock (Shadows Part 2) – Hans Zimmer – Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows Score

Video Rating: 4 / 5

Video Rating: 4 / 5

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What One Piece of Advice Would You Give Your Children?

If you all were here for my post last week, you will understand the whole thing with the 600 Brilliant Blog Post Ideas and where it came from, but if not, you can check it out here. If not, then read on.
#17 If you were only allowed to give your children one piece of advice, what would that be?

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LoveMy2Dogs

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